AIG High Noon Smackdown Hoedown Showdown

by cowboylands

Weren’t we supposed to be done with all these cowboy showdowns? Then along comes AIG, thinking business as usual, and they caught caught in populist crossfire. I’d feel sorry for them, but I’m not. I can hear a constant rustling in the bushes as one by one all of AIG’s friends and comrades abandon them to their fate. 

 ©2008 es

So who is the cowboy hero this time? Will Pres. Obama, manfully saying “I’ll take responsibility,” channel his inner James Stewart and prove that being a milquetoast can also mean you’re a hero? (check out the classic Destry Rides Again, or the post exploring its political ramifications here). 

Will Tres. Sec. Geithner, looking more and more beleaguered, stay the course and be so like Gary Cooper’s Marshal Kane in High Noon

Will the outraged, just outraged senators prove their manly mettle and finally 

a.) start exercising their vote-given duty to speak for their constituents instead of ignoring the business-as-usual tactics of the financial world, which frankly, seemed fine to many of us constituents two or three years ago so let’s not get too worked up unless we can actually see fit to shift our 401Ks to more sustainable and earth-friendly, people-friendly managed funds?

b.) just start exercising! Ride a cowboy!

Or will the hero be the American populace, who shaking off the burden placed on them by western movies (the community are sheep; the community needs to be protected by those stronger, faster and better; the community are venal and weak–see any movie starring C. Eastwood)?

Historically, outrage rises and dies away like the wind coming down from the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend, Texas (like clockwork, every sunrise and sunset as the hot-tempered temps and the cool-tempered temps even each other out). 

What potentially makes this wave of outrage different?

It think it’s the Internet frontier, which allows every voice to link to another voice and to another and another, irrespective of who owns what media outlet. It heightens every conflict into a showdown (sometimes ignoring truth-telling and fairness). Yet it seems less manipulative than the so-called fair media outlets. While the stories in periodicals and news programs go through a vetting process, there is always that shadowy figure behind the stories, perhaps pulling strings or whatever metaphor you’d like to use. 

The Community in western movies can also be a force for good–calling in the rule of law; developing culture; weighing in on decisions that affect independence of the individual and the interdependence of the town. 

It would be good to draw the AIG mess (and the other companies who just didn’t get outed) away of the luridly lettered OMG journalism into more of an acceptance that we, the people, are truly saying WTF, and we, the people, who will create and foster engines of future financial development, are truly saying we can do better. 

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